It’s December 2016, six months since we launched the Premier League on Optus Sport and brought live sport streaming to thousands of football fans for the very first time in Australia.
Since August, it’s been an incredible ride and I’d like to share some of the interesting insights we’ve learnt along the way.
Traditionally, Australians have always watched the Premier League on their TV at home. Since we launched Optus Sport, we’ve noticed that fans are watching a lot more content on their mobile and tablet. We built the Optus Sport platform with convenience and control in mind so that football fans would no longer be confined to watching the Premier League solely on TV - the huge uptake of mobile viewing we’ve seen is something we’re really proud of, plus we’ve tried to make mobile TV streaming as enjoyable as possible which is why, on selected mobile plans, you can watch as much content as you want on Optus Sport without using the data in your plan. (Please note: ads, authentication and analytics use data and may incur data charges).
As we expected, the most passionate Premier League fans still get up in the middle of the night to watch the games live. However, we’ve found that lots of you are watching the matches on demand too. For games available on demand, fans are loving the control they have over what they watch; you can choose to look at the whole match, use the scroller button to fast forward or rewind to the bits or goals you want to see or just catch the highlights.
The premium programming on Optus Sport has also proved popular; shows like Countdown To Kick Off, Football Today, Fan Zone and Fantasy League are fan favourites thanks to their exclusive content, top-quality punditry and unparalleled access inside the Premier League. Next year, as well as the incredible on-air talent of Mel McLaughlin, Mark Schwarzer and Michael Bridges, fans can expect even more one-on-one interviews with top Premier League coaches, current players and former football legends.
And we’ve got more international tournaments coming too; this year we broadcast the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup but we’re already starting to get excited about the internationals coming up in 2017.
So you’ve heard all the good stuff but what are we working on to further improve Optus Sport? To start with, we know there’s a delay when fans are streaming the live games. At present, current technology and the nature of live sport streaming means there will be a slight delay no matter what sport you’re watching; the only way to avoid this is if you’re fortunate enough to be in the stadium. However for most fans who can’t be there, rest assured we are working tirelessly to improve the streaming experience. We've already reduced the delay significantly and over the next few months, we will continue to make improvements to reduce the lag even further.
We’re also aware that some fans don’t get to see their team’s games on demand every week. This problem is particularly tricky because deciding which games should be available on demand is subjective. If you’re an Everton fan, you’d like to see every Everton game made available on demand, right? Out of the 380 matches played each season, we are permitted to make a certain number of games available on demand; we have to make a choice about which games we choose and not every fan will be happy with the decision. However, we always listen to feedback from fans and make an informed, conscious effort to hero the right games or make replays available at times that are accessible. Plus we always highlight which games in the forthcoming round will be available on demand so fans can prepare to record the match in advance or catch a replay. Don’t forget that if you have a Yes TV by Fetch Mighty (Gen 3) set-top box, you can also record all your team’s matches to ensure you never miss a game.
Before I sign off, I do have to mention cricket. Along with the Premier League, we’ve now launched cricket on Optus Sport where you'll find an incredible 24/7 channel dedicated to cricket this summer (on Optus Sport 2). The channel will show exclusive extended highlights and classic matches plus Optus Sport subscribers have access to the Cricket Australia Live app so you can watch live matches played in Australia on their mobile this summer. Customers on selected mobile plans can also stream live matches data free on their mobile device too. (Please note: Ads, authentication, app analytics and content other than live games in the Cricket Australia Live app will incur data charges). Personally I’m really enjoying the summer of sport on Optus, especially as I write this while Chelsea are still on top!
As usual, I’d love to hear your feedback or answer any questions you have. If you’d like to share your thoughts, just leave a comment below.
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